Recently I attended The Boeing Classic, a PGA golf tournament at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club. I got the tickets for free because a local business wanted to connect with my CFO and me about a business deal. Knowing there would be lots of great people there, I brought my networking gear to see what other angling I might do. (Golf and fishing–what a combination!)
Just after local favorite Fred Couples birdied the first hole, I ran into my friend Tim Knapp and a bunch of his friends. (Tim shows up in The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus. He models Kingdom networking as well as anyone I know!) One of his friends, Brian Heathman, told me about a new student who had just enrolled at Northwest University (NU). As President of AudioInk (http://audioink.com/), a cutting-edge publishing company, Brian walks the walk on networking. “You’ve got to meet this student! He’s a leader for the future,” he said.
Always interested in meeting future leaders, and having instant access to all NU emails, I popped out an email to the student as soon as my conversation with Brian ended. We met for coffee, and I really appreciated Brian’s good work in bird-dogging me to a really promising young leader right under my nose.
The fruit of the work ripened quickly, as Brian received the following note a couple of weeks later:
Let me first start off by saying that I really appreciate the integrity of your word. When you mentioned that you would set me up with the president of NU I wasn’t quite sure what to think other than, “wow, okay.”
Well, two weeks ago, I received an email from President Castleberry of Northwest University. After a couple emails back and fourth, we set up a time to have coffee. It was a fantastic time of sharing our stories and discussing the impact of God in our lives. All this to say, none of it would have been possible without your connection with Joe and your follow through.
I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him. It was the beginning to a wonderful friendship.
Bryan, I can not thank you enough.
I think this case provides an interesting example of reaching out to reach in. Making a new connection off campus became the conduit to an important relationship with someone right under my nose. In years to come, as this young (freshman) leader would have emerged at Northwest, I would have followed his progress from my perch as president. The fact that we got off to a fast start through a networking-brokered relationship will mean that I will be more likely to have closer relationship to a key student leader all the way through his career at Northwest. The benefit needs no further explanation.
Is there an important connection within easy reach that you remain unaware of? The key to making that close connection may lie in someone who stands at a distance.
For more, see The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus (My Healthy Church, 2013). Pre-order it in paperback or Kindle editions at http://www.amazon.com/The-Kingdom-Net-Learning-ebook/dp/B00EDO1F6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376544126&sr=8-2&keywords=Joseph+Castleberry.
Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Joseph Castleberry, President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington, is the author of Your Deepest Dream: Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus. Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at http://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Castleberry.